17 Exercises That Start With C

17 Exercises That Start With C

Are you looking to spice up your workout routine with exercises that pack a punch from A to Z?

Perhaps you’ve mastered the basics and now crave a challenge, or maybe you’re just curious about mixing things up.

Either way, focusing on specific letters can be more than just an alphabetical game; it can introduce structure and fun into your fitness journey.

Dive into our tailored list of 17 dynamic exercises that all start with the letter “C.”

We’ll guide you through each one, ensuring clear techniques for improving strength, flexibility, and overall well-being.

Let’s start!

1. Chest press

The chest press fortifies your upper body and promotes muscle coordination. Discover how to harness the power of this resistance training exercise for significant strength gains.

How To Do

  • Lie on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Rest the dumbbells at chest level with palms facing forward.
  • Push the dumbbells up, extending your arms fully.
  • Carefully lower the weights back to chest level.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps.
  • Always focus on maintaining a steady pace and controlled movements to get the most out of your workout and avoid injury.

Muscles Worked

The chest press primarily targets the pectoralis major, which is the fan-shaped muscle covering most of your chest. Secondary muscles joining the effort include:

  • Triceps, located at the back of your upper arms.
  • Anterior deltoid, at the front of your shoulders.

Engaging these muscles strengthens and adds definition to the upper body and bolsters muscular endurance. Perfect for enhancing those pushing motions in your day-to-day activities or sports.

2. Calf Raises

Calf raises focus precisely on the lower leg muscles, offering a simple yet effective workout. Incorporating them into your routine can significantly enhance both muscle tone and walking endurance.

How To Do

  • Start by standing on a flat surface with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
  • Lift your heels off the ground, rising onto the balls of your feet.
  • Squeeze your calf muscles at the top of the movement and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower your heels back to the ground.
  • For added difficulty, perform calf raises on a step or block to increase the range of motion.

Muscles Worked

  • Gastrocnemius: The large muscle that creates the bulk of your calf’s shape.
  • Soleus: The smaller, flat muscle that lies underneath the gastrocnemius.
  • Tibialis Anterior: This is the muscle running along the front of your shin.
  • Plantar Flexors: The muscles that allow you to point your toes downward.

Together, they contribute to muscular lower legs and support the strength necessary for daily activities.

3. Cat-Cow

Transform your yoga practice with the cat-cow pose, a simple yet effective way to enhance spine flexibility.

This gentle flow between two positions helps prepare your body for more dynamic movements.

How To Do

  • Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, ensuring your wrists are under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Inhale deeply as you slowly arch your back, dropping your belly towards the mat while lifting your chin and chest upwards; this is the cow part of the pose.
  • Exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling while tucking in your tailbone and drawing your chin toward your chest to form the cat pose.
  • Focus on syncing your breath with each movement to maximize the stretch along the spine and increase mindfulness.
  • Engage abdominal muscles throughout the sequence to support lower back during transitions.

Muscles Worked

As you perform the Cat-Cow, you’re engaging and stretching the erector spinae which support your vertebral column.

The motion also involves your rectus abdominis (commonly known as your ‘abs’) and your obliques, which are key for core strength and stability.

This movement pattern is a stellar way to bring suppleness to the entire spinal column, distributing the beneficial effects from your neck to your lower back.

4. Crunches

Crunches are a classic core-strengthening exercise, highly effective for toning your abs and enhancing your posture.

Let’s dive straight into mastering the form and exploring the muscle engagement.

How To Do

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands either behind your head or across your chest, whatever feels best for you.
  • Pull in your abs and lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor – imagine curling up towards your knees.
  • Be sure to keep your lower back glued to the floor and avoid tucking your chin into your chest.
  • Lower back down to complete one rep.
  • For consistency, aim to do these movements in a controlled manner.

Muscles Worked

When you’re crunching away, you’re not only sculpting a six-pack! The rectus abdominis is the star of the show but don’t forget its support crew:

  • The obliques, which give you that tapered waist look by running along the sides of your abdomen.
  • The transverse abdominis, the deepest abdominal muscle wrapping around your waist

By engaging these muscles, you’re not just working on looks; you’re tightening and strengthening the whole midsection.

5. Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose

Often found in yoga routines, Child’s Pose offers a moment of rest and rejuvenation. It’s a simple yet powerful exercise that serves as a gentle stretch, aids in recovery, and can help alleviate lower back pain.

How To Do

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees. Ensure your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Sit back gently on your heels while lowering your torso towards the floor.
  • Stretch your arms out in front of you or lay them by your sides, whatever feels most comfortable.
  • Rest your forehead on the floor, allowing your neck and shoulders to relax completely.
  • Breathe deeply, and let the serenity wash over you. Stay here for a duration that suits you, letting the calmness of the pose work its magic.

Muscles Worked

Child’s Pose is a total star when it comes to targeting key muscle groups:

  • Latissimus Dorsi: Starts at the armpit and extends down to the hip, this large back muscle gets a nice, elongating stretch.
  • Gluteus Maximus: As you sit back, the body’s largest buttock muscle appreciates the break.
  • Hamstrings: The stretch includes the back of your thighs too.

This pose is your go-to for releasing built-up tension and fatigue.

6. Chin-Ups


Elevate your upper body strength and enhance your grip with one of the classics: chin-ups.

This powerful exercise is a staple for sculpting the biceps and back muscles, not to mention its perks for your posture and self-confidence.

How To Do

  • Begin with a supinated grip, where you hold the bar with palms facing toward you.
  • Arms should be fully extended at the start to ensure a full range of motion during the exercise.
  • Engage your core and keep your body straight as you pull yourself upwards.
  • Aim to bring your chin over the bar by bending at the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • The focus should remain on using the latissimus dorsi and biceps brachii muscles predominantly.
  • Gradually lower yourself back down after pausing briefly at the top of the movement.
  • Keep repetitions controlled and steady to maximize muscle engagement and prevent injury.

Muscles Worked

As you conquer each rep, you’re engaging some serious upper body players:

  • Biceps: front of your upper arms.
  • Latissimus Dorsi: the broadest muscle of your back.
  • Brachialis: muscle beneath the biceps.

Chin-ups are fantastic for building that coveted V-shape and a muscular upper body.

7. Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose, a classic element in the world of yoga, enhances your flexibility and fortifies your core, contributing to overall spinal health.

It’s a simple yet powerful exercise with numerous health benefits.

How To Do

  • Begin by lying on your stomach, legs straight, feet together.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, keeping elbows close to your body.
  • Press your palms firmly into the floor and gently lift your chest and head upwards.
  • Maintain your shoulders down, elongating away from your ears, and hips grounded.
  • With a steady gaze forward or a slight lift of the chin, hold the pose for a few breaths.
  • Slowly lower back to the starting position and feel free to repeat.

Muscles Worked

When you rise into the Cobra Pose, you’re not only working your back but also engaging your core muscles:

  • Erector Spinae: These muscles run along your spine and are the main targets in this pose.
  • Rectus Abdominis: Say hello to the development of your ‘six-pack’ as this muscle is also put to use.
  • Obliques: The muscles along the sides of your abdomen that assist in rotation and bending.

8. Concentration Curls

Looking to enhance your biceps with a targeted and effective exercise?

Concentration curls are a classic bicep-building move and a brilliant way to add focus and strength to your arm workouts.

How To Do

  • Start by selecting an appropriate weight for your strength level; too heavy can compromise form, while too light might not challenge your muscles enough.
  • Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your legs spread wide apart and plant your feet firmly on the ground for stability.
  • Grasp a dumbbell in one hand with an underhand grip, ensuring that your arm is fully extended towards the floor.
  • Securely place the back of your upper arm against your inner thigh; this provides stabilization and prevents other muscles from assisting in the lift.
  • Slowly curl the dumbbell upward, focusing on contracting just your bicep until it is fully flexed while keeping your upper arm stationary.
  • Pause at the top of the movement to maximize muscle tension, then carefully lower the dumbbell back to starting position, maintaining control throughout.
  • Perform all reps on one arm before switching sides in order to maintain symmetry and balance in bicep development.

Muscles Worked

  • Biceps Brachii: The prime mover, your bicep, is front and center for this curl.
  • Brachialis: Though behind the scenes, this muscle plays a key support role.
  • Brachioradialis: Running along the forearm, it assists, making this trio an arm-strengthening powerhouse.

By isolating the biceps, these curls ensure maximum muscle contraction and can contribute significantly to better muscle development.

9. Clean and press

The clean and press is a dynamic kettlebell exercise that targets strength-building and cardiovascular fitness. This powerful move combines elements of Olympic weightlifting to deliver impressive results.

How To Do

  • First, imagine yourself as a coiled spring, ready to unleash power. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and a barbell before you.
  • Bend at the knees and hips, taking hold of the barbell with an overhand grip that’s a tad wider than your shoulders.
  • Now, lift the barbell smoothly off the ground, powering it up to your chest with elbows high and a proud back—this is the clean.
  • The next step is to press the barbell overhead until your arms fully extend. Keep that core braced!
  • Then, control the barbell back to your chest and finally to the floor, gearing up for another explosive rep.

Muscles Worked

The clean and press isn’t just an exercise—it’s a full-body fiesta! From your quads, now feeling like pistons, to the gluteus maximus, powering through like a champion, this move covers it all.

Your hamstrings join the party too, along with the deltoids, crowning your shoulders like a Greek statue, and the trapezius, stretching from your neck to your shoulders like a wide highway.

But wait, there’s more: the pectorals, triceps, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, the sturdy biceps, your sleek obliques, and the transverse abdominis—each muscle dancing in harmony, improving your muscle mass, and fine-tuning your coordination.

10. Curtsy Lunges

Curtsy lunges are a dynamic exercise that targets your lower body, specifically engaging multiple muscle groups for comprehensive leg strengthening.

This lunge variation incorporates movements from four different lunges: forward, lateral, reverse, and the titular curtsy.

How To Do

  • Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips for stability.
  • Move one foot behind you and to the opposite side as if curtsying to royalty.
  • Lower your back knee towards the ground while keeping your chest up and core engaged.
  • Press through the front heel to return to the standing position.
  • Alternate legs with each repetition, ensuring a fluid motion throughout.
  • Curtsy lunges offer enhanced muscle activation compared to traditional lunges due to their unique movement pattern.
  • They challenge balance and stability, promoting core strength along with leg sculpting benefits.
  • For an intense workout tailored for experienced individuals, add weights like dumbbells or a barbell.

Muscles Worked

Curtsy Lunges are all about the lower body burn:

  • Gluteus Maximus: Your main booty muscle gets a fantastic workout.
  • Gluteus Medius: This hip muscle gets in on the action for better shape and strength.
  • Quadriceps: Front of the thigh—yes, they’re working hard too.
  • Hamstrings: The back of your thighs are engaged, supporting and balancing you.
  • Adductors: Inner thigh muscles pull their weight for a full-leg workout.
  • Abductors: Outer thigh muscles also join the party.

This exercise pulls double duty by targeting and toning those areas for sculpted hips, thighs, and a strengthened backside.

11. Chair Pose

Chair Pose, known in yoga as Utkatasana, is a dynamic standing pose that targets your thighs and core, enhancing your posture and building stamina.

How To Do

  • Begin standing with your feet together, arms at your sides.
  • In one smooth inhalation, sweep your arms overhead, palms facing each other while keeping shoulders relaxed.
  • As you exhale, bend your knees and push your hips back as if you’re lowering onto an invisible chair.
  • Aim to keep your back straight and chest lifted. Your thighs should strive to be as parallel to the floor as they can, without compromising form.
  • Distribute your weight onto your heels, look straight ahead or slightly up, and hold for a few seconds.
  • To release, inhale, straighten your legs and lower your arms back to your sides.

Muscles Worked

The primary muscles in play during Chair Pose include:

  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Erector spinae
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Deltoids:
  • Triceps:
  • Rectus abdominis

This pose is a powerhouse for strengthening and stretching your lower body and core, keeping your posture in check.

12. Chest Fly

The Chest Fly is an effective exercise targeting the pectoralis major for a sculpted, symmetrical chest.

It’s a staple in many workout routines due to its ability to isolate the chest muscles and enhance your upper body’s aesthetics and function.

How To Do

  • Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Start with the dumbbells over your chest, palms facing in, and a slight bend in your arms.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells in an arc motion to the sides until they are level with your chest, keeping elbows fixed.
  • Squeeze your chest muscles to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position in the same wide arc.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions, maintaining a steady pace and controlled form.

Muscles Worked

This exercise primarily works the pectoralis major, focusing on the outer and lower parts, giving shape and definition.

Secondary muscles involved include:

  • Pectoralis minor, enhancing the depth of your chest’s appearance.
  • Serratus anterior, promoting a ribbed look along your ribcage sides.

By performing Chest Flies, you’re isolating these muscles to achieve a more defined and toned chest.

13. Cobra Stretch

Cobra Stretch is a powerful yoga pose that opens the chest and strengthens the back. It’s an essential part of any yoga routine, fostering spine flexibility and enhancing mental well-being.

How To Do

  • Begin by lying flat on your stomach with hands placed under your shoulders.
  • Press into your palms and slowly lift your chest off the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Engage your lower back muscles as you elevate, to improve their strength and provide lower back support.
  • Extend through the top of your head while drawing your shoulder blades back and down to open up the chest area.
  • Maintain a slight bend in the elbows to avoid strain and ensure a proper shoulder stretch.
  • Hold this position for a few breaths, focusing on lengthening the spine and stretching abdominal muscles for increased strength.

Muscles Worked

  • Erector Spinae
  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Obliques

Incorporate Cobra Stretch into daily practice for overall muscle stretching benefits. As a hatha yoga posture, this exercise not only stretches but also contributes to mental wellbeing by relieving stress.

14. Cycling


Transitioning from the muscle-lengthening Cobra Stretch, let’s shift gears to a cardiovascular powerhouse: cycling. Get ready to pedal your way toward improved health and fitness.

Cycling stands as a stellar choice for those looking for an effective low – impact workout that spares joints from undue stress.

Unlike high-impact exercises like running, biking welcomes individuals with various fitness levels to engage in healthy physical activity.

Muscles Worked

Cycling is your lower body’s gain and pain—mostly gain, though!

It’s a muscle fiesta with the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves throwing the main party. And don’t you dare forget about that core!

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Hamstrings & Calves
  • Core Muscles

15. Crossover Lunges

Crossover lunges are a dynamic move targeting your inner thighs, glutes, and core, enhancing coordination and hip mobility.

With a unique curtsy motion, they offer a fresh twist on traditional lunges to challenge your balance and strength.

How To Do

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips or holding dumbbells by your sides for an extra challenge.
  • Take a large step forward with your right leg, crossing it over to the left, as if bowing to royalty.
  • Bend both knees, aiming to bring your right knee toward the floor, keep your chest lifted, and ensure your left knee is aligned with your left ankle.
  • Drive through your left heel to stand back up to the starting position.
  • Now, switch it up! Step forward and cross with your other leg.
  • Keep alternating legs, and keep the flow going for your set number of reps.

Muscles Worked

Crossover lunges aren’t just a fancy step; they’re a comprehensive lower body workout:

  • Gluteus Medius
  • Adductors
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Quadriceps & Hamstrings
  • Abductors
  • Rectus Abdominis

16. Crab Walk

Dive into the full-body benefits of the Crab Walk, a playful yet effective exercise that boosts your strength, coordination, and mobility.

Ever wondered which exercise can spice up your routine while challenging multiple muscle groups? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how the Crab Walk does just that.

How To Do

  • Begin the crab walk by sitting on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and hands behind your body; fingers facing towards your feet.
  • Lift your hips off the ground to form a table – top position, engaging your glutes and abdominal muscles.
  • Start “walking” by moving your opposite hand and foot simultaneously; left hand with right foot, then right hand with left foot.
  • Keep your hips elevated throughout the movement to ensure continuous core engagement.
  • Incorporate a resistance band around your thighs to add difficulty and increase muscle activation in the gluteal muscles.
  • Maintain a steady pace, focusing on coordination between arm and leg movements to improve overall stability.

Muscles Worked

Your upper body is getting a prime deal here—triceps stretching like they’re reaching for the stars, deltoids sculpting your shoulders into boulders, and let’s not forget the pecs and lats pulling their weight for that chiseled torso.

Your core? With the six-pack-ab-building rectus abdominis and obliques earning their keep. The Crab Walk is not just a walk in the park; it’s an upper body and core workshop.

17. Circuit Training

Circuit Training is a dynamic approach to fitness that engages multiple muscle groups and energy systems.

This method of training efficiently combines strength, endurance, and flexibility in one workout.

How To Do

  • Choose Your Exercises: Select from cardio, strength, plyometric, or core exercises based on what you aim to achieve.
  • Set the Sequence: Line up 6 to 10 exercises to create your circuit.
  • Watch the Clock: Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds, giving it your all.
  • Rest Briefly: Take a 10 to 30-second break between exercises to catch your breath.
  • Repeat: Go through your circuit 2 to 4 times, resting for 1 to 2 minutes between each round.
  • Remember, the goal is to keep the downtime minimal to keep your heart rate up!

Muscles Worked

Circuit training is the ultimate multitasker – it targets nearly every major muscle group. Depending on your chosen exercises, you might work on:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Upper Body Strength
  • Lower Body Power
  • Core Stability

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